Bottom line: Even if Case Keenum starts at quarterback and plays well for Denver in 2018, its schedule, combined with the talent in its own division, makes a playoff push doubtful. Before they even think about where they stand in the AFC with contenders like the Texans and Steelers on their schedule, the Broncos need to take care of their standing in the AFC West. Those six games will define Denver’s season. Record prediction: 7-9
Although Gronkowski has yet to commit to returning, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported in February that he was expected to play in 2018.
After an injury-plagued 2016, Gronk appeared in 14 games last season and finished with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns en route to his fifth Pro Bowl and fourth All-Pro First Team nod.
Gronk also appeared in all three of New England’s playoff games. However, a concussion forced him to leave the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
With 474 catches for 7,179 yards and 76 touchdowns in his career through only eight seasons, the 28-year-old Gronkowski is already among the most productive tight ends in NFL history.
Belichick’s issues with trainer Alex Guerrero also factor into this, with Volin writing that Gronkowski is “openly feuding” with the New England head coach about his relationship with Guerrero. Gronk has taken Tom Brady‘s side when it comes to Guerrero, per Volin, crediting the trainer’s methods with helping him stay healthy last season — which came after a back injury cut his 2016 slate short.
The Bills can’t leave the first round without a quarterback; they have no long-term starter on the roster, and even their short-term options would be upgraded with the addition of a rookie. While some in Buffalo’s front office prefer Josh Rosen, Allen is more likely to be the pick.
Denver needs to continue to upgrade its offensive line, and Nelson is the draft’s best lineman. Nelson, along with last year’s first-round pick in Garett Bolles, can help give Case Keenum the protection he needs.